“What is the difference between a bird and a car?” I heard the Holy Spirit saying to me in my thoughts this morning.
Don’t mock, God is quite capable of speaking to you too in plain English.
A wagtail had just mounted my car outside and flitted about in its inherent freedom.
A bird is so much part of God’s creation, it is coherent in it I thought in reply. It has that peculiar thing called life about it, autonomy, awareness of its environment, capable of responding dynamically to things. When it dies it will decay quickly and be recycled.
A car has to have an artificial man made environment created so it can function in it. It needs roads, petrol stations, parking lots. It is dead, hardly aware of its surroundings, capable of little or no autonomous action, has little capability of responding to dynamically changing surroundings. It needs to be driven. When it breaks down it will have to be scrapped and the parts recycled with difficulty. It moves through God’s creation but doesn’t really cohere to it or fit in very well. The quest to create autonomous cars still won’t give the things life. We haven’t understood what does that properly yet in our education system.
I had been asking God about inventions. He was pointing out to me that an element of invention that He values greatly is how it might cohere or fit into His creation.
Later on today my daughter was going over her biology homework with me. She needed to learn about the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle. In a similar way to the way water is recycled (Eccl. 1:7) God wastes nothing. Paradoxically, when things can be recycled efficiently then it is possible to introduce huge amounts of waste without damaging the environment. Hence the fact that God allows trees and plants to produce a super abundance of seeds, most of which never become trees or plants like their parents. Waste is not waste when it is recycled.
A narrow view of the Gospel would have us ignore or play down care for the environment. Climate change and dealing with plastics are the realm of the liberal, ungodly left in popular evangelical teaching.
However I believe God cares a lot about these things and He wants His followers to do the same.